Publications by authors named "Deepu A Gopakumar"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Improved Hydrophobicity of Macroalgae Biopolymer Film Incorporated with Kenaf Derived CNF Using Silane Coupling Agent.

Molecules 2021 Apr 13;26(8). Epub 2021 Apr 13.

Chemistry Institute, Federal University of Uberlandia-UFU, Uberlândia 38400-902, Brazil.

Hydrophilic behaviour of carrageenan macroalgae biopolymer, due to hydroxyl groups, has limited its applications, especially for packaging. In this study, macroalgae were reinforced with cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) isolated from kenaf bast fibres. The macroalgae CNF film was after that treated with silane for hydrophobicity enhancement. The wettability and functional properties of unmodified macroalgae CNF films were compared with silane-modified macroalgae CNF films. Characterisation of the unmodified and modified biopolymers films was investigated. The atomic force microscope (AFM), SEM morphology, tensile properties, water contact angle, and thermal behaviour of the biofilms showed that the incorporation of Kenaf bast CNF remarkably increased the strength, moisture resistance, and thermal stability of the macroalgae biopolymer films. Moreover, the films' modification using a silane coupling agent further enhanced the strength and thermal stability of the films apart from improved water-resistance of the biopolymer films compared to unmodified films. The morphology and AFM showed good interfacial interaction of the components of the biopolymer films. The modified biopolymer films exhibited significantly improved hydrophobic properties compared to the unmodified films due to the enhanced dispersion resulting from the silane treatment. The improved biopolymer films can potentially be utilised as packaging materials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/molecules26082254DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069814PMC
April 2021

A Review on Plant Cellulose Nanofibre-Based Aerogels for Biomedical Applications.

Polymers (Basel) 2020 Aug 6;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 6.

Chemistry Institute, Federal University of Uberlandia-UFU, Campus Santa Monica-Bloco1D-CP 593, Uberlandia 38400-902, Brazil.

Cellulose nanomaterials from plant fibre provide various potential applications (i.e., biomedical, automotive, packaging, etc.). The biomedical application of nanocellulose isolated from plant fibre, which is a carbohydrate-based source, is very viable in the 21st century. The essential characteristics of plant fibre-based nanocellulose, which include its molecular, tensile and mechanical properties, as well as its biodegradability potential, have been widely explored for functional materials in the preparation of aerogel. Plant cellulose nano fibre (CNF)-based aerogels are novel functional materials that have attracted remarkable interest. In recent years, CNF aerogel has been extensively used in the biomedical field due to its biocompatibility, renewability and biodegradability. The effective surface area of CNFs influences broad applications in biological and medical studies such as sustainable antibiotic delivery for wound healing, the preparation of scaffolds for tissue cultures, the development of drug delivery systems, biosensing and an antimicrobial film for wound healing. Many researchers have a growing interest in using CNF-based aerogels in the mentioned applications. The application of cellulose-based materials is widely reported in the literature. However, only a few studies discuss the potential of cellulose nanofibre aerogel in detail. The potential applications of CNF aerogel include composites, organic-inorganic hybrids, gels, foams, aerogels/xerogels, coatings and nano-paper, bioactive and wound dressing materials and bioconversion. The potential applications of CNF have rarely been a subject of extensive review. Thus, extensive studies to develop materials with cheaper and better properties, high prospects and effectiveness for many applications are the focus of the present work. The present review focuses on the evolution of aerogels via characterisation studies on the isolation of CNF-based aerogels. The study concludes with a description of the potential and challenges of developing sustainable materials for biomedical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym12081759DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7465206PMC
August 2020

Ultra-fast heat dissipating aerogels derived from polyaniline anchored cellulose nanofibers as sustainable microwave absorbers.

Carbohydr Polym 2020 Oct 17;246:116663. Epub 2020 Jun 17.

International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala 686560, India; School of Chemical Sciences, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, Kerala 686560, India. Electronic address:

Electromagnetic (EM) pollution is ubiquitous and has soared to a great extent in the past few decades. The use of plant sourced cellulose nanofibers to fabricate sustainable and high performance electromagnetic shielding materials is foreseen as a green solution by the electronics industry to address this unseen pollutant. In this view, we report a facile and environmentally benign strategy to synthesize ultra-light and highly conductive aerogels derived from cellulose nanofibers (CNF) decorated with polyaniline (PANI) via a simple in-situ polymerization and subsequent freeze drying process devoid of any volatile organic solvents. The obtained conductive aerogels exhibited density as low as 0.01925 g/cc with a maximum EMI shielding value -32 dB in X band region. These porous shields demonstrated strong microwave absorption behavior (95 %) with minimal reflection (5 %) coupled with high specific EMI SE value ∼1667 dB.cm. g which make these aerogels a potential candidate for use in telecommunication, military and defense applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2020.116663DOI Listing
October 2020

Evaluation of the thermomechanical properties and biodegradation of brown rice starch-based chitosan biodegradable composite films.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Aug 11;156:896-905. Epub 2020 Apr 11.

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia. Electronic address:

Biodegradable films composed of starch and chitosan plasticized by palm oil were fabricated via a solvent casting technique. In this study, the influence of the ratio of brown rice starch and chitosan on the mechanical, thermal, antimicrobial, and morphological properties of the films was investigated. Antimicrobial films with a smooth surface and a compact structure of brown rice starch were obtained. The results showed that a higher proportion of chitosan in the polymer blends resulted in a substantial enhancement in the tensile strength (TS) and thermal stability of the film. The TS values for BRS100, BRS30CH70, BRS50CH50, BRS70CH30, and CH100 were 3.7, 15.2, 10.2, 9.3, and 8.8 MPa, respectively, and the elongation at break (EB) values of the BRS100, BRS30CH70, BRS50CH50, BRS70CH30, and CH100 samples were 39.5%, 34.7%, 7.3%, 11.5%, and 6.9%, respectively. The addition of chitosan to the brown rice starch samples resulted in a reduced water uptake of the film. The film with a balanced ratio of brown rice starch and chitosan exhibited excellent water resistance, with its water absorption being the lowest among all of the studied compositions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.04.039DOI Listing
August 2020

The role of silica-containing agro-industrial waste as reinforcement on physicochemical and thermal properties of polymer composites.

Heliyon 2020 Mar 11;6(3):e03550. Epub 2020 Mar 11.

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.

This study was conducted to determine the influence of the oil palm boiler ash (OPBA) reinforcement on the microstructural, physical, mechanical and thermal properties of epoxy polymer composites. The chemical composition analysis of OPBA revealed that it contains about 55 wt.% of SiO along with other metallic oxides and elements. The surface morphology of OPBA showed angular and irregular shapes with porous structures. The influence of OPBA as a reinforcement in epoxy composite was studied with varying filler loadings (10-50 wt.%) and different particle sizes (50-150 μm). The result showed that the incorporation of OPBA in composites has improved the physical, mechanical and thermal properties of the epoxy matrix. The highest physical and mechanical properties of fabricated composites were attained with 30 wt.% loading and size of 50 μm. Also, thermal stability and the percentage of char residue of the composite increased with increasing filler loading. Furthermore, the contact angle of OPBA reinforced epoxy composites increased with the increase of filler loading. The lowest value of the contact angle was obtained at 30 wt.% of filler loading with the OPBA particle size of 50 μm. The finding of this study reveals that the OPBA has the potential to be used as reinforcement or filler as well as an alternative of silica-based inorganic fillers used in the enhancement of mechanical, physical and thermal properties of the epoxy polymer composite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e03550DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7068627PMC
March 2020

Extraction of Cellulose Nanofibers via Eco-friendly Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Treatment Followed by Mild Acid Hydrolysis and the Fabrication of Cellulose Nanopapers.

Polymers (Basel) 2019 Nov 5;11(11). Epub 2019 Nov 5.

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia.

The conventional isolation of cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) process involves high energy input which leads to compromising the pulp fiber's physical and chemical properties, in addition to the issue of elemental chlorine-based bleaching, which is associated with serious environmental issues. This study investigates the characteristic functional properties of CNFs extracted via total chlorine-free (TCF) bleached kenaf fiber followed by an eco-friendly supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO) treatment process. The Fourier transmission infra-red FTIR spectra result gave remarkable effective delignification of the kenaf fiber as the treatment progressed. TEM images showed that the extracted CNFs have a diameter in the range of 10-15 nm and length of up to several micrometers, and thereby proved that the supercritical carbon dioxide pretreatment followed by mild acid hydrolysis is an efficient technique to extract CNFs from the plant biomass. XRD analysis revealed that crystallinity of the fiber was enhanced after each treatment and the obtained crystallinity index of the raw fiber, alkali treated fiber, bleached fiber, and cellulose nanofiber were 33.2%, 54.6%, 88.4%, and 92.8% respectively. SEM images showed that amorphous portions like hemicellulose and lignin were removed completely after the alkali and bleaching treatment, respectively. Moreover, we fabricated a series of cellulose nanopapers using the extracted CNFs suspension via a simple vacuum filtration technique. The fabricated cellulose nanopaper exhibited a good tensile strength of 75.7 MPa at 2.45% strain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym11111813DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6918378PMC
November 2019

Interfacial Compatibility Evaluation on the Fiber Treatment in the Typha Fiber Reinforced Epoxy Composites and Their Effect on the Chemical and Mechanical Properties.

Polymers (Basel) 2018 Nov 28;10(12). Epub 2018 Nov 28.

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia.

Natural fiber composites have been widely used for various applications such as automotive components, aircraft components and sports equipment. Among the natural fibers have gained considerable attention to replace synthetic fibers due to their unique nature. The untreated and alkali-treated fibers treated in different durations were dried under the sun for 4 h prior to the fabrication of fiber reinforced epoxy composites. The chemical structure and crystallinity index of composites were examined via FT-IR and XRD respectively. The tensile, flexural and impact tests were conducted to investigate the effect of the alkali treated Typha fibers on the epoxy composite. From the microscopy analysis, it was observed that the fracture mechanism of the composite was due to the fiber and matrix debonding, fiber pull out from the matrix, and fiber damage. The tensile, flexural and impact strength of the fiber reinforced epoxy composite were increased after 5% alkaline immersion compared to untreated fiber composite. From these results, it can be concluded that the alkali treatment on fiber could improve the interfacial compatibility between epoxy resin and fiber, which resulted in the better mechanical properties and made the composite more hydrophobic. So far there is no comprehensive report about fiber reinforcing epoxy composite, investigating the effect of the alkali treatment duration on the interfacial compatibility, and their effect on chemical and mechanical of fiber reinforced composite, which plays a vital role to provide the overall mechanical performance to the composite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym10121316DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6401956PMC
November 2018

Robust Superhydrophobic Cellulose Nanofiber Aerogel for Multifunctional Environmental Applications.

Polymers (Basel) 2019 Mar 14;11(3). Epub 2019 Mar 14.

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang 11800, Malaysia.

The fabrication of superadsorbent for dye adsorption is a hot research area at present. However, the development of low-cost and highly efficient superadsorbents against toxic textile dyes is still a big challenge. Here, we fabricated hydrophobic cellulose nanofiber aerogels from cellulose nanofibers through an eco-friendly silanization reaction in liquid phase, which is an extremely efficient, rapid, cheap, and environmentally friendly procedure. Moreover, the demonstrated eco-friendly silanization technique is easy to commercialize at the industrial level. Most of the works that have reported on the hydrophobic cellulose nanofiber aerogels explored their use for the elimination of oil from water. The key novelty of the present work is that the demonstrated hydrophobic cellulose nanofibers aerogels could serve as superadsorbents against toxic textile dyes such as crystal violet dye from water and insulating materials for building applications. Here, we make use of the possible hydrophobic interactions between silane-modified cellulose nanofiber aerogel and crystal violet dye for the removal of the crystal violet dye from water. With a 10 mg/L of crystal violet (CV) aqueous solution, the silane-modified cellulose nanofiber aerogel showed a high adsorption capacity value of 150 mg/g of the aerogel. The reason for this adsorption value was due to the short-range hydrophobic interaction between the silane-modified cellulose nanofiber aerogel and the hydrophobic domains in crystal violet dye molecules. Additionally, the fabricated silane-modified cellulose nanofiber hydrophobic aerogels exhibited a lower thermal conductivity value of 0.037 W·m K, which was comparable to and lower than the commercial insulators such as mineral wools (0.040 W·m K) and polystyrene foams (0.035 W·m K). We firmly believe that the demonstrated silane-modified cellulose nanofiber aerogel could yield an eco-friendly adsorbent that is agreeable to adsorbing toxic crystal violet dyes from water as well as active building thermal insulators.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym11030495DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6473771PMC
March 2019

Enhancement in the Physico-Mechanical Functions of Seaweed Biopolymer Film via Embedding Fillers for Plasticulture Application-A Comparison with Conventional Biodegradable Mulch Film.

Polymers (Basel) 2019 Jan 26;11(2). Epub 2019 Jan 26.

School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia.

This study aimed to compare the performance of fabricated microbially induced precipitated calcium carbonate⁻ (MB⁻CaCO₃) based red seaweed () bio-polymer film and commercial calcium carbonate⁻ (C⁻CaCO₃) based red seaweed bio-film with the conventional biodegradable mulch film. To the best of our knowledge, there has been limited research on the application of commercial CaCO₃ (C⁻CaCO₃) and microbially induced CaCO₃ (MB⁻CaCO₃) as fillers for the preparation of films from seaweed bio-polymer and comparison with biodegradable commercial plasticulture packaging. The results revealed that the mechanical, contact angle, and biodegradability properties of the polymer composite films incorporated with C⁻CaCO₃ and MB⁻CaCO₃ fillers were comparable or even superior than the conventional biodegradable mulch film. The seaweed polymer film incorporated with MB⁻CaCO₃ showed the highest contact angle of 100.94°, whereas conventional biodegradable mulch film showed a contact angle of 90.25°. The enhanced contact angle of MB⁻CaCO₃ resulted in high barrier properties, which is highly desired in the current scenario for plasticulture packaging application. The water vapor permeability of MB⁻CaCO₃ based seaweed films was low (2.05 ± 1.06 g·m/m²·s·Pa) when compared to conventional mulch film (2.68 ± 0.35 g·m/m²·s·Pa), which makes the fabricated film an ideal candidate for plasticulture application. The highest tensile strength (TS) was achieved by seaweed-based film filled with commercial CaCO₃ (84.92% higher than conventional mulch film). SEM images of the fractured surfaces of the fabricated films revealed the strong interaction between seaweed and fillers. Furthermore, composite films incorporated with MB⁻CaCO₃ promote brighter film, better water barrier, hydrophobicity, and biodegradability compared to C⁻CaCO₃ based seaweed polymer film and conventional mulch film. From this demonstrated work, it can be concluded that the fabricated MB⁻CaCO₃ based seaweed biopolymer film will be a promising candidate for plasticulture and agricultural application.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/polym11020210DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6419062PMC
January 2019

Cellulose Nanofiber-Based Polyaniline Flexible Papers as Sustainable Microwave Absorbers in the X-Band.

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2018 Jun 29;10(23):20032-20043. Epub 2018 May 29.

International and Inter University Centre for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology , Mahatma Gandhi University , Kottayam , Kerala 686560 , India.

A series of flexible, lightweight, and highly conductive cellulose nanopapers were fabricated through in situ polymerization of aniline monomer on to cellulose nanofibers with a rationale for attenuating electromagnetic radiations within 8.2-12.4 GHz (X band). The demonstrated paper exhibits good conductivity due to the formation of a continuous coating of polyaniline (PANI) over the cellulose nanofibers (CNF) during in situ polymerization, which is evident from scanning electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction analysis. The free hydroxyl groups on the surface of nanocellulose fibers promptly form intermolecular hydrogen bonding with PANI, which plays a vital role in shielding electromagnetic radiations and makes the cellulose nanopapers even more robust. These composite nanopapers exhibited an average shielding effectiveness of ca. -23 dB (>99% attenuation) at 8.2 GHz with 1 mm paper thickness. The fabricated papers exhibited an effective attenuation of electromagnetic waves by a predominant absorption mechanism (ca. 87%) rather than reflection (ca. 13%), which is highly desirable for the present-day telecommunication sector. Unlike metal-based shields, these demonstrated PANI/CNF papers have given a new platform for designing green microwave attenuators via an absorption mechanism. The prime novelty of the present study is that these robust PANI/CNF nanopapers have the ability to attenuate incoming microwave radiations to an extent that is 360% higher than the shielding effectiveness value reported in the previous literature. This makes them suitable for use in commercial electronic gadgets. This demonstrated work also opens up new avenues for using cellulose nanofibers as an effective substrate for fabricating conductive flexible papers using polyaniline. The direct current conductivity value of PANI/CNF nanopaper was 0.314 S/cm, which is one of the key requisites for the fabrication of efficient electromagnetic shields. Nevertheless, such nanopapers also open up an arena of applications such as electrodes for supercapacitors, separators for Li-S, Li-polymer batteries, and other freestanding flexible paper-based devices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsami.8b04549DOI Listing
June 2018
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